If your hotel, resort, condo, or business is located in a beach town, you know that you must plan ahead for the upcoming Spring Break and Summer beach season. There are many beach-related giveaways such as beach balls, sunglasses, and lip balm; however, some of the most useful beach giveaways are beach towels.
When shopping for custom beach towels, you have to understand the difference in towel weights, size, and material to make sure you don’t end up with a towel quality with which you are unhappy. There are promotional towels, which are lightweight towels that are commonly used for mass giveaways, there are premium, heavyweight towels that are either selectively given away to patrons or sold in gift shops, and there are all the beach towels in between.
The two biggest factors when buying promotional beach towels are towel size and weight. The most common material is terry velour (explained in more detail below). Another consideration is the type of decoration, such as embroidery or screen printing.
Terry – As you can see in the photo, terry is comprised of many loops of cotton fabric. These towels are looped on both sides and the most absorbent types of towels. In fact, each terry loop can absorb several times its own weight to significantly increase the absorbency. Because of the looped fibers on both sides of the towels, these are mostly embroidered and not screen printed. While, these are sometimes screen printed, the design must be simple and bold to show up well on the looped surface. Towels with terry on both sides are most commonly seen with premium beach towels as opposed to lower priced promotional towels.
Velour – These are the same as terry towels with the cotton loops cropped or shaved. Velour is softer than terry and the cropped loops allow for the process of better screen printing on that side. However, by cropping the loops, the towels do lose some of the absorbing ability. In order to get the best of both worlds, that is absorbency and ability to be printed, many beach towels are made are terry velour, which is terry on one side and velour on the other side.
Terry Velour – This is the most commonly seen material used for promotional towels. Terry velour means it has the looped cotton fibers (terry) on one side and non-looped, velour (smoother, non-looped side) on the opposite side. Terry is very absorbent and can absorb many times its own weight. The velour side is screen printed with your design since the terry side does not allow for detailed imprints because of the loops. With the combination of both terry and velour, these towels work for both absorbing water and allowing for screen printing to be more effective.
Towels are listed by weight and range from 9 lbs per dozen to 19 lbs per dozen. Often, you will see towels listed as an 11 lb or 14 lb towel. Quite obviously, this does not mean that one towel weights 11 or 14 pounds. It means that a dozen towels weigh that weight. So, if you were looking at a 12 lb towel, the towels would weigh 1 lb each. The lower the towel weight is, the thinner the towel. The higher the weight is, the higher quality (and more expensive) the towel. When comparing towels to purchase, make sure you are comparing the same size vs. the weight. For example, a 10.5 lb 30″ x 60″ towel is thicker (heavier weight) than an 11 lb 32″ x 64″ towel. If a towel is larger in size, it needs to be heavier so it will be the same thickness as the smaller towel.
Promotional Towels – Towels that are intended to be given away in bulk, often need to be cheaper in price to be affordable for mass giveaways. These promo towels are typically between 9-11 lbs per dozen and have a velour side that is screen printed.
Mid-Range Towels – Towel weights from 12-15 lbs are the middle of the road weights. These are very popular for those wanting to give away good quality towels that are more likely to be used for longer than the promotional weight towels.
Premium Towels – 16 lbs and up is the towel weight for those wanting luxury. These heavyweight towels are going to be more absorbent and since they are a heavyweight towel, you can be sure that they will get used more. If you are selling towels in a resort or retail gift shop, you will want to sell the heavier weight towels.
Screen Printing – This is the most popular method of decorating towels because it is the fastest and cheapest method. Depending on the manufacturing equipment, the screen sizes will vary, so obviously, the bigger the imprint available, the more effective your imprint will be. The pricing will increase with each additional imprint color. Also, with each imprint color, there will be additional setup or screen charges. The lowest cost option is to do a 1 color imprint.
Embroidery – This type of decoration is going to be more subtle and much smaller. However, it is a much more elegant style of decorating your towel. This is commonly used by high class spas and resorts. A benefit of embroidering beach towels is that you can use a better towel quality since you can opt for terry on both sides so your towels will be fuller and more absorbent.
Dye Sublimation – This decoration process actually dyes the individual fibers of the towel for a permanent imprint. This process allows for edge to edge printing for more used of the towel space to promote your company and it is a full color process so you can really show off your logo colors.
Woven Jacquard – These towels can be either terry or terry velour, but what sets these apart is that the design is actually woven into the towels during production. This is a much more elaborate process, which means much more expensive. Beach towels with woven jacquard designs are the premium cream of the crop towels.
Choosing the right towel size will ultimately determine how often your towel is used by the person in the future. For instance, a larger towel is much more likely to be used repeatedly over a smaller towel. Therefore, choose your towel size wisely based upon the intended use of the towels and your budget.
There are many towel sizes, but the most common towel sizes are below:
28″ x 58″ (Promotional Size)
30″ x 60″ (Mid-Range Size)
35″ x 60″ & Larger (Premium Size)
Now that you know more about custom beach towels, you can order more confidently and get the product you need and want. Now you just have to choose which towel best fits your needs. Of course, if you need additional help, please contact one of our beach towel experts.